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MDx/CDx Focus: PGXL's PerMIT Garners Patent; Baptist, Vanderbilt's Cancer Research Pact


USPTO Grants Patent for PGXL Laboratories' Decision-Support Software

PGXL Laboratories announced last week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has said it will grant a patent on the company's PerMIT decision support software.

"The underlying PerMIT knowledge base and algorithms are being used to prepare the interpretive reports physicians get with every PGXL result," the company said in a statement. One of the test results that will be communicated to doctors through PerMIT will be pharmacogenetic testing to dose the anticoagulant warfarin.

The firm applied for the patent in 2006. The real-time version of PerMIT is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Baptist Memorial, Vanderbilt U Partner on Cancer Research with Genomics Focus

Two Tennessee-based organizations, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, announced they would partner on clinical research focused on personalized oncology treatments and create new academic programs for patients in the region.

Under the agreement, cancer patients at Baptist will have greater access to research trials and genetic tests under development at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. These tools and services will be expanded throughout Baptist's hospital system outside of Tennessee, in Mississippi and Arkansas. Baptist has more than 85,000 admissions annually.

"What this means to Mid-South residents is enhanced access to specialized research and genomic medicine," said Jason Little, executive VP and chief operating officer for Baptist. "We will be working with Vanderbilt-Ingram to develop more personalized cancer programs based on patients' genetic makeup, which is the future of cancer therapy."

Through this collaborative arrangement, physicians at Baptist and researchers at Vanderbilt hope to prevent more cancers and speed new treatment options to patients. The partners will conduct joint clinical trials; share cancer tissue to facilitate research and use of genomically targeted treatments; hold joint medical conferences; offer fellowships and training in oncology subspecialities; and partner on grant opportunities for cancer research.

The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.